Disability Rights

The ACLU’s Disability Rights work strives for an America free of discrimination against people with disabilities, where people with disabilities are valued, integrated members of society who have full access to education, homes, healthcare, jobs, and families.  The project is also committed to ensuring people with disabilities are no longer segregated into, and over-represented in, civil and criminal institutions such as nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, jails and prisons.

How Police Can Stop Shooting People With Disabilities

How Police Can Stop Shooting People With Disabilities

By Claudia Center, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU at 1:59pm
Hundreds of Americans with disabilities die each year in police encounters, and many more are seriously injured. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case about one of these interactions.
There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 4:47pm

Many people recognize the names Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, African-American men, and a child, killed by the police.

Less well known are the names Milton Hall, James Boyd, Ezell Ford, Kajieme Powell, and Tanisha Anderson.

They…

Stop the Abuse.

Shocking Kids into Compliance

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 2:00pm

The Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential school in northern Massachusetts, prides itself on teaching students with disabilities who have the most challenging behavioral issues. The school takes kids with severe intellectual disabilities – autism,…

Photo: EditorB/Flickr

Police Brutality and Deaf People

By Talila A. Lewis, Founder, HEARD at 1:13pm

Robert Kim, Pearl Pearson, Jonathan Meister...

These are the most recent additions to the long list of deaf people who have been brutally assaulted by police officers for what has been described by officers as failure to respond to officers'…

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

HIV Ghettos in U.S. Prisons Are Finally in the Past

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project at 10:12am

We are thirty years into the HIV epidemic. Surely, by now, stigmatization, isolation and discrimination against people living with HIV should be a relic of the past. Yet up until today, categorical HIV segregation – one of the ugliest remnants of…

Marlee Matlin on her PSA about deaf and police interaction

Video: We Need to Know Our Rights

By Marlee Matlin, Actress at 9:51am

As a deaf person and the wife of a police officer, I think it's extremely important for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to be aware of their rights when dealing with the police.

Know what's fair. Know what you need to do. Know that…

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 3:20pm

The guardianship system in this country raises serious concerns. That's why the guardianship trial of Jenny Hatch, a vibrant and active 29-year-old in a battle over who controls her life, struck such a chord. Jenny spoke for many other people with…

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

Living with HIV in an Alabama Prison

By Albert Knox at 10:14am

In 2011, the ACLU and the ACLU of Alabama sued the Alabama Department of Corrections for discrimination against inmates living with HIV. Alabama is one of only two states, along with South Carolina, that continue to segregate inmates living with HIV…

Separate Is Not Equal

Separate Is Not Equal

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program & Karyn Rotker, Race, Poverty, and Civil Liberties Attorney at 5:02pm

In a letter released this week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) informed Wisconsin that its publicly-funded private school voucher program must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In its letter, DOJ reminded Wisconsin that the state's…

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

It Is Time to Modernize Discriminatory HIV/AIDS Laws

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Steven Waddy, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:55pm

While science has vastly advanced since the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic more than 30 years ago, the ways in which many criminal laws treat people living with HIV look like throwbacks to the dark days of the past when fear and misinformation…

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